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Addiction to Alcohol/Alcoholic sister living with parents with dementia

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Question
Our sister (there are six siblings) lives with our elderly parents who have both have dementia (Mother's worse than Father's#. My sister has had several DUI's and been in and out of work due to alcoholism, and now is living with my parents.  The living arrangement started out that they were helping her out, and now she says that they can't live without her.  The problem is, we're not sure what the truth is, and we're worried about their well being.  She has made my parents' situation sound very bad, and she's taking care of everything.  But, we found out that the finance work she does is a lie #she does none of it#, and we're not sure what else is a lie.  My parents now think she is taking care of them and refuse to talk about moving to any sort of facility.  #My sister only shows up at their house a few times a week and claims she is at work-- but is not at work#.

During the holidays, at a family party she told us she was going to drive my parents home #they live 45 minutes away, and we don't like them driving in the dark#.  She appeared very drunk so another brother ended up driving my parents and her away.  But, as they got into the car, my sister announced that she was meeting someone a few blocks away from the party and needed to be dropped off.  So, she was going to drive my parents the few blocks away, meet her friends and send my parents off by themselves in the dark.  
My sister is very defensive about her disease and gets upset if we talk with her about it.  #She even claims that she has been sober since her last rehab in 2009, which we know she never became completely sober#.  
Would it be good for us to do an intervention?  Or what is the best way for us to handle this?

Answer
Yes. For your parents well being an intervention is much needed. You can got to samsha.gov and go to publication. Look under the tab something like prevention, treatment and recovery. Within that tab there is a section called intervention. In there you can probably find some good information. If you have names and numbers of any of her friends honestly working a program of recovery such as aa then call and ask them to do a 12th step call. If you guys don't want to be involved, google aa in her city and state and look for phone number. Call some of those numbers and ask if there are any women willing to do a 12th step call on her. Sometimes it's best to let aa folks do it. they go in and simply ask for the person to listen with an open mind. They begin to share their experiences of what life was like before alcohol, what it was like being an active alcoholic and how they got sober and remain sober and how great life can be. They will (aa) be able to provide the support an alcoholic needs. Support, love, guidance and hold people accountable. She won't pull any BS over on them. Sometimes family members are just to close to the situation and things get brought up that shouldn't. The blame game begins and arguments start. Really leaving the individual with anger and spite and low self esteem so they drink more. Sometimes family interventions if not done with a professional end up doing more harm than good. Let me know if I need to try and find a number local for her for you to call. Just write back. I'd be glad to help. Meanwhile, all of you need to go to al-anon,if your not already. It will help you immensely to help her, the right way. You can find al-anon meetings the same way you find aa meetings. Good luck. Hope this helps.

Addiction to Alcohol

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Leigh, BS, QMHP, QMRP

Expertise

I can answer questions about alcoholism, 12-step programs and general inpatient and outpatiennt treatment programs. I can answer questions about living life as an alcoholic, sobriety, different types of recovery, treatment, relapse and help for loved ones of alcoholics. I have extensive treatment and 12 step experience. I have been a substance abuse counselor as well. I have drank champagne with the rich and famous and lived in homes with no running water or electricty. I have experienced a lot both in and out of recovery. I am a social worker who has worked with people with mental illness, alcoholism, addiction, and sex addiction issues. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict and have been homless due to my addiction and worked hard to regain my integrity. I am a social worker that works with individuals in the criminal justice system with mental illness and/or addictions.

Experience

I have lived the life of addiction and the life of recovery. I have attended many 12-step meetings. I have been a substance abuse counselor. I am NOT a doctor. If you want personal experience with any of the above then ask me! I have spent countless months in treatments centers and years in AA.

Organizations
NAMI CHADD Trainings and seminars on alcoholism and addiction MHA

Publications
Forsyth Families bp

Education/Credentials
BS: Sociology and Criminal Justice, MS: working towards in Professional Counseling

Past/Present Clients
Poly substance abusers. Mental illness with substance abuse

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